Options to Enhance Occupational License Portability

Options to Enhance Occupational License Portability

Nearly 30 percent of American jobs require a license today, up from less than five percent in the 1950s. For some professions, occupational licensing is necessary to protect the public against legitimate health and safety concerns. But in many situations, the expansion of occupational licensing threatens economic liberty. Unnecessary or overbroad restrictions erect significant barriers and impose costs that harm American workers, employers, consumers, and our economy as a whole, with no measurable benefits to consumers or society. Based on recent studies, the burdens of excessive occupational licensing—especially for entry- and mid-level jobs—may fall disproportionately on our nation’s most economically disadvantaged citizens.
To aid in the FTC’s analysis of these issues and develop policies for addressing them, the Task Force has hosted a series of public events on issues related to occupational licensing. It has also collaborated with state elected leaders and other officials who share the goal of occupational licensing reform. The FTC’s Economic Liberty Task Force looks forward to continuing this work and bringing greater attention to these important issues. Occupational licensing reform is good for competition, workers, consumers, and the American economy.

Economic Liberty Task Force

Federal Trade Commission

September 2018

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